Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

HTRMom

My 3yo is a monster

Recommended Posts

I don't know your son's motives for his behavior. (Heck, I don't even specifically know what he's doing!) But what I do know is this. If you approach every interaction with your son with the belief that he's deliberately out to antagonize you, and that his motive is to harm others and make you mad just for the sake of harming others and making them mad, then that's what you're going to get. You're setting an expectation. And whatever expectation you set, that's what you're going to see. And whether it's really there or not to start, eventually, that's what you're going to get.

 

Very, very few children actually act like this, especially in toddlerhood.

I agree with this.

 

Three year olds in general tend to simply act on what they are feeling. Adults may project intents onto their actions (he is trying to make me mad) that have no basis at all in what is going on internally in the child.

Edited by maize
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If he stares at me, scowls, and dumps juice on the floor or throws something or bites me, what motive is there besides making me angry? It's just fun to scowl and bite and throw?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

He may think you are angry at him, or that you don't like him.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If he stares at me, scowls, and dumps juice on the floor or throws something or bites me, what motive is there besides making me angry? It's just fun to scowl and bite and throw?

Well, I don't know. What precipitated this behavior?

 

Maybe he's scowling at you because he's unhappy. Maybe he's dumping his juice on the floor because he doesn't like that juice, and since he's already unhappy (and maybe tired, hungry, or stressed) it's easier to dump it out in an angry way than to say "I don't like this".

 

As for throwing and biting, this is normal behavior in three year olds. It usually means they're angry, scared, or frustrated (especially if they're hungry or tired). It doesn't mean they're trying to make YOU angry.

 

(Actually, scowling and dumping food on the floor in a pique is also normal behavior in three year olds, isn't it? Is this really all that's going on?)

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean, you've said that you yell and hit when you get frustrated or angry. If he was posting this, would he say you yell and hit to make him mad? Perhaps he'll ask "What other motive is there? Is it just fun to yell and hit?"

 

You're an adult. If you don't have the self-control to keep from yelling and hitting when you're angry and frustrated and generally stressed, why do you imagine that your three year old must have some other motive for doing the same thing you do?

 

I don't think you're being fair.

Edited by Tanaqui
  • Like 23

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If he stares at me, scowls, and dumps juice on the floor or throws something or bites me, what motive is there besides making me angry? It's just fun to scowl and bite and throw?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Exploring his environment. Teething. Sensory issues. Feeling overwhelmed/frustrated/upset/mad and having no way to express it "appropriately." Three year olds are frustratingly simple. If he's smiling, he's happy. If he's scowling, he's not. The frustrating part is figuring out why. He's acting how he feels. He's not acting in a manipulative manner to get someone else to feel a certain way. Three year olds are still babies and still selfish creatures. It has NOTHING to do with you or trying to get a certain reaction from you. It's about him and what he's feeling.

 

If a neurotypical 10 year old bites you or dumps food on the floor, that's an entirely different scenario.

 

Would researching child development stages help? You are using terms like motive that really don't belong with three year olds. I often ask whyyyyy did you do XYZ, but that's **my** way of voicing frustration. I know my three year old really isn't planning things out three steps ahead. She dumped out her bowl of pretzels because she wanted the purple bowl, not the green one. Or because she wanted crackers and not pretzels. She's not trying to piss me off.

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't ADHD involve having more physical energy than other kids? DS has the same amount or a bit less physical energy as other kids his age.

 

 

 

 

That's a common misconception due to the H (hyperactive). It's much more about lack of impulse control. I've said for years it should be called ADID. Unfortunately those who write the DSM don't listen to me. ;)

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look, I get that three year olds are super annoying, especially when you have - what, three other small children to look after?

 

Hoo-boy, I couldn't do it. You get a gold star for even being semi-functional.

 

Children are difficult, and they're frustrating, and it's entirely possible that I'm getting half the story here and his behavior is really, really out of line with what I think is normal. Probable, even.

 

I can't help you with coping skills in the short term. You're doing already what I would advise - getting therapy for anger management, sending the problem kid to preschool so you can have a breather.

 

And I know it sounds like we're all piling on here. That's not helping either, I'm sure, and every one of us in this thread has the capacity to be seriously judgmental when the mood strikes us. (The mood strikes me every other day. It's an affliction.)

 

But I'm dead serious about this point. You have got to stop trying to figure out a coherent, internal motive for what your kid does. It's futile, and definitely not helpful. If you find yourself asking "why", run through this checklist: Is he hungry? Is he sleepy? Is he overstimulated? Does he need more attention? There's your why. It's almost certainly something out of his own control.

 

I'll tell you something else. Whether his behavior is in the norm or not, rewards and redirection work infinitely better than punishment. I have always found that too many time-outs have a rebound effect - and spanking is just a non-starter. If you're going to go a "consequences" route, use some discretion and keep them low-key.

Edited by Tanaqui
  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not necessarily. (It also doesn't mean that your kid can never focus ever. Many kids with ADHD have an ability to focus very well, even to their detriment, on things they're interested in.)

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, this. It's called hyperfocus. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I wanted to discuss this as some of you have suggested, would it go on the Learning Challenges or the Special Needs board? I can't figure out the difference.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it's all about me. (But let's me real, it's partly about me and the brother he terrorizes.) I know that he is doing someone in order to get an angry reaction out of me or his teacher or dad. Would it be better for him if I never got angry? Yes. Is he deliberately trying to make me angry? Yes. He has no sense that I have internal feelings. He's not really trying to hurt me, although it feels that way, because it's never occurred to him that he could. He just wants to see me get mad. I don't know why, exactly. I know some of that is age-appropriate, experimenting. But the intensity with which he does it is not normal.

 

I already said that I'm getting therapy for anger management. I never seemed to have a problem until I had this kid. Kids sure bring out the best and the worst in us!

 

I'd be shocked if there were a 2E specialist in the state of NM. Specialists of every kind are lacking. If there were someone, she would have a 1-year wait list.

 

Doesn't ADHD involve having more physical energy than other kids? DS has the same amount or a bit less physical energy as other kids his age.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

this is why stereotypes for disabilities are detrimental - some kids can be hyper - and other's NOT.   add is part of dudelings diagnosis - he can focus just fine on something he wants to do.

when dudeling was younger - I would try to explain his odd behavior by telling people he has asd.  i'd be asked "what his subject?" huh?  apparently they took the idea that asd kids are prodigies/are obsessed in some areas to heart . . . . . uh, no.  doesn't work like that.

 

it has to do with what is going on in the brain.

is this your oldest child? 

 

and i agree with others - you need to let go of your ego in this. having a battle of wills with a child is a battle you WILL lose.  either he doesn't break - and goes his own way, possibly with nothing to do with you - or you break him.  either way - you both lose.  

rethink your strategy - you want to "win' the war so you both win.

 

he's THREE. no matter the reason he does what he does, he's immature, and you're an adult.  stop taking things personally and start being more objective.  believe me - teens are capable of pushing your buttons so much more easily so you might as well learn it now. . . . . ;)   I'm starting on my fifth teen . . . 1ds thinks it's hysterical :glare: . .  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, gosh, teething. I completely forgot about the bane of my existence, teething.

 

Yeah, that's one reason three year olds are annoying. Teething. You remember when your wisdom teeth came in? Now, imagine that, but you're a little kid so you don't understand what's going on, can't talk about it, and don't have the impulse control to keep from lashing out over the pain and sleepiness.

 

Seriously, when the girls were three, every time they threw a tantrum I headed right for the Orajel. (Or so I think now. I've mostly blocked those years from my memory. They're all a haze, because they were that bloody awful.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sound like he is taking some of the behaviors out on his siblings and harming them, though?  Is that correct?  If so, that needs something different, doesn't it?

 

Yeah, without knowing exactly what's going on it's hard to offer specific advice, but actively harming other children - especially smaller ones! is the one thing I would say always merits a consequence. If nothing else, you need to separate the kids until they're both calmed down, especially the instigator. And if there's a chronic problem between two children, you need to be on them like white on rice.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, he hits, pushes, and bites the 2yo, in addition to the typical stealing stuff from him. He will yank out the chair he's sitting in and he falls. Hit him with sticks. Slam doors in his face. :( I make him stay in his playroom by himself after that. I try not to leave them alone if he's in a mood.

 

Teething? He has all of his baby teeth. There are only two sets of molars, right?

 

Obviously the power struggle is no good. I gave up on that long ago. I was just trying to describe his baby behavior. I have made progress, even if there's still a long way to go.

 

And he does have a special interest that could become autism-like. It's the Mass. He plays Mass for hours every day, talks about it, etc. As far as obsessions go, you could do worse! :D

 

Hyper focus is interesting. I might have that. My DH gets so angry that he can't get my attention when I'm reading or something, but I simply cannot hear him. It doesn't even have to be anything especially interesting.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look, I get that three year olds are super annoying, especially when you have - what, three other small children to look after?

 

  You have got to stop trying to figure out a coherent, internal motive for what your kid does. It's futile, and definitely not helpful.

If you find yourself asking "why",

run through this checklist:

Is he hungry?

Is he sleepy?

Is he overstimulated?

Does he need more attention?

There's your why.

It's almost certainly something out of his own control.

 

I'll tell you something else. Whether his behavior is in the norm or not, rewards and redirection work infinitely better than punishment. I have always found that too many time-outs have a rebound effect - and spanking is just a non-starter. If you're going to go a "consequences" route, use some discretion and keep them low-key.

 

this age, their bodies really do have a huge influence on them.

blood sugar for hunger

lack of sleep - just because you put them to bed and they wake up by themselves doens't mean they're getting enough sleep!   under direction of a ND - i started dudeling on melatonin.  this kid would rather starve if he knew he was being given a supplement.  I told him he could swallow it - or get it in a shot.  the next night!  he asked for one.  he was easily sleeping an addition two hours a night - and HE felt better!

you've mentioned things making him anxious - don't discount how a small child will react to anxiety.  help make things calmer for his sake.  it could well be huge dividends for both of you.

 

with dudeling - I had to focus on good outcomes vs. negative.  when we do __ we can do ___.  I had to be explicit (to a degree I felt awful) - but nothing less registered.  however, when __ is done, then we can __ did work much better than "if you don't __ , I'll take away ____

and the more negative attention a child is getting - the more we need to go out of our way to make sure they are getting positive attention.  reading stories (dudeling would NOT sit still to be read to.  so, I just started reading and told him he had to stay in the room. he'd play with lego, etc.  showed every sign of not listening to me - but would stop me and ask penetrating questions that indicated he'd heard everything.  sometimes, he'd even come over and look at the pix.  it got to be a really nice time for us together.  but it took perseverance on my part and deliberate effort to connect with him.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're an adult. If you don't have the self-control to keep from yelling and hitting when you're angry and frustrated and generally stressed, why do you imagine that your three year old must have some other motive for doing the same thing you do?

 

THIS.

 

 

OP, try to look at this from the perspective of a 3 yr old who has huge feelings he can't manage, or even articulate, which may have far more to do with biochemistry and brain wiring than whatever trivial "event" may seem to precipitate the behavior. He's feeling anxious and upset and lashes out because he has no idea why he feels that way or what to do about it. And instead of helping him deal with these feelings, the person who is supposed to love and protect and teach him just yells and hits him.

 

Where is your empathy? How can he learn empathy if what you are modeling is that your feelings are more important than his and that you will get your way, through yelling and hitting if necessary.

 

Even if he is doing something that he consciously knows will make you angry, that doesn't mean the goal in doing it is to make you angry. He may be doing it to make himself feel less out of control, as counter-productive as that may be. He may be doing it because being yelled at gives him an adrenaline rush that calms him down — not that he's consciously aware of that, but just that his body has made the association between getting yelled at and feeling calm.

 

That is not the response you want to be reinforcing in him! But until you stop framing his neurological/cognitive/behavior issues as him "just wanting to make you angry," all you are doing is reinforcing the behavior you want to extinguish and preventing him from developing the tools he needs to manage his feelings and have healthy relationships, including developing empathy.

Edited by Corraleno
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it possible that he's incredibly bored? Normally (pretty much never, except now) I wouldn't say to start schooling a 3yo, but maybe he's ready to start learning to read and do other things. You say he's gifted. What about trying a rigorous preK program or teaching him at home? Just a thought. He just sounds bored to tears and needs to either get much more activity going on or needs to be provided with ways to exercise his brain, if that makes sense.

 

You also mentioned saying mean things to him. I don't know what that means, but you've got to work on liking him. I know you love him, but it really sounds like you've pushed him away to some extent. Maybe some good one on one time at a park or just taking a neighborhood walk, just the two of you, every afternoon or night before bedtime, would be something special just for y'all?

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He may think you are angry at him, or that you don't like him.

 

:iagree:  I think you've gotten many good ideas and suggestions.  But if I were going to say one thing you could do today is let go of the idea that this is malicious and intentional.  Find intentional ways to love, cuddle, have fun, and bond with this kid every day.  Find some intentional one on one with him.  If you are giving off a vibe of dislike or on guard constantly, kids have a way of sensing and feeding off of parental attitudes and moods.  Make a decision to not let him push your buttons.  Deal with issues as unemotionally as possible.  When my kids were at their worst, often I found I needed an attitude adjustment and to put the relationship first, even when it was hard.  Both my kids were challenging, high energy, high needs preschoolers.  A very clean diet and a bunch of outside/active/social time was helpful too.   People thought I was nuts for keeping my kids on the schedule I did.  It was necessary.  I totally get the high IQ, sensory quirky kid.  That is what I have here.

 

I would be working to get a good eval and keep trying until things start making sense. 

 

ETA - your psych sounds like she is not qualified to work with or understands very gifted kids.  And in cases like this, I REALLY wish they would use a different word than gifted.  It didn't feel like a gift at this age.  Hang in their momma!

 

Edited by WoolySocks
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sound like he is taking some of the behaviors out on his siblings and harming them, though?  Is that correct?  If so, that needs something different, doesn't it?

 

 

Yes, he hits, pushes, and bites the 2yo, in addition to the typical stealing stuff from him. He will yank out the chair he's sitting in and he falls. Hit him with sticks. Slam doors in his face. :( I make him stay in his playroom by himself after that. I try not to leave them alone if he's in a mood.

 

Teething? He has all of his baby teeth. There are only two sets of molars, right?

 

Obviously the power struggle is no good. I gave up on that long ago. I was just trying to describe his baby behavior. I have made progress, even if there's still a long way to go.

 

And he does have a special interest that could become autism-like. It's the Mass. He plays Mass for hours every day, talks about it, etc. As far as obsessions go, you could do worse! :D

 

Hyper focus is interesting. I might have that. My DH gets so angry that he can't get my attention when I'm reading or something, but I simply cannot hear him. It doesn't even have to be anything especially interesting.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

kids want attention.  any attention is "attention".   negative attention of mom yelling and spanking them is attention.  mom yelling and spanking him because he just did something to sibling who is getting nice attention . . . is attention.  

 

  you speak about a lot of negative interaction with this child.  how much interaction could be labeled positive?  how many positives compared to the negatives?  if this is the only attention he gets - he's trying to get attention.  it's not because it makes him feel good - but he wants your attention.  you've got what - two or three kids younger than him?  when does he get positive attention to make him feel loved and special?  he's three!  

 

make an effort to go out of your way to give him positive attention at least 10 times a day.  read a story, play a game, etc.be silly with him.  it doesn't take long.  make sure you genuinely SMILE at him.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, he hits, pushes, and bites the 2yo, in addition to the typical stealing stuff from him. He will yank out the chair he's sitting in and he falls. Hit him with sticks. Slam doors in his face. :( I make him stay in his playroom by himself after that. I try not to leave them alone if he's in a mood.

 

This all sounds like it could be within the normal range of behavior for three except for the two things I italicized - and "hitting with sticks" is only abnormal if he's going to find a stick to hit his brother with. If he happens to already be holding it when he gets mad, not so much.

 

There are a few caveats. This is all within the normal range if he does it immediately when his brother does something frustrating or annoying to him - like his brother is singing when he wants quiet, and won't stop, so he pushes him. If there's a delay - his brother takes his favorite cup, so he waits fifteen minutes until your attention is somewhere else and then yanks the chair out from under him - that's not normal at all and might indicate something serious.

 

I'm also curious about frequency. A few of these incidents in a day is upsetting for adults, but, again, within the normal range. Several of these incidents every hour - not so much.

 

I'm not sure putting him in his room alone is the most helpful solution, but with several small children to watch it may be the only one you can manage. It's certainly better than many of the alternatives, anyway.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear God, he's THREE.

You're making him stay in the playroom by himself because he hits, pushes and bites the two year old? And spanking and saying mean things? My ASD son bit until he was almost six. He wasn't trying to make me mad; he was frustrated and biting is a sensory release. At three, it wasn't even close to anything malicious.

Maybe he's NT, maybe not. Your child psych sounds like an idiot, so I wouldn't listen to her. The bottom line is you cannot control this child, you can only control yourself. He is not to blame for your anger issues. He's three; I don't care what his IQ is, he is three or younger emotionally. He's young and has several very young siblings also needing attention. I'm betting he finds negative attention is better than nothing.

I'm not piling on you here, but the fact that you needed to seek therapy for anger issues brought on by this child is a huge red flag for me. I have a difficult, intense, oppositional, sometimes violent child. He needed constant attention and interaction when he was a toddler(though he wasn't nearly as clingy and destructive as my current toddler). But my anger and frustration wasn't HIS fault; I as the adult needed to manage myself and the situation better. Kids act out when they can't communicate their needs. Spanking, being mean, and isolating a toddler isn't meeting a single one of his needs.

 

P.s. My oldest is also extremely high IQ. He got mad at the fact that his brand new kindle has time limits and shuts off when he's used them up, so he put it under running water to destroy it. When he gets angry, he's destructive. We've outgrown the violence mostly, but he is very needy, intense and difficult. But I always try to remember that despite his super high IQ there is a little boy who is much younger emotionally than his chronological age and definitely younger than his cognitive age. So I really do sympathize, because I've been there.

Edited by MedicMom
  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He likes to see how I act when I'm mad. Maybe it makes him feel powerful? Maybe he's trying to find where I will set a limit? Maybe he feels insecure and needs to see that there are boundaries? I think maybe he just gets angry and lashes out, not knowing what else to do. He doesn't comprehend that I have an inner life like he does, or that being angry is unpleasant for me. He has no empathy. That's an observation, not a judgment. I don't know what the typical age range is for development of empathy.

 

What you are talking about isn't empathy - it is theory of mind.  In a neurotypical child that typical begins developing around 4-5.  In spectrum kids it can be much, much later.  ...and the development is long and complex.  I know adults with high empathy but low theory of mind skills.  There's a big difference between not realizing someone is experiencing things differently than you are and realizing but not caring.

 

My spectrum son has an enormous amount of empathy, and did from a young age.  *but* he had/has a great deal of challenge recognizing how someone else is perceiving things.  He is nearly adult now and it is still harder for him than it would be for someone half his age.  ...but he has the kindest heart and doesn't want to cause pain.

 

As others have said, it would be very helpful you to learn a little more about child development and to reframe things.  Right now your interpretations of your son's actions are part of the problem.  If you see avoidance of eye contact as "withholding", are framing his choices as "defiance" and lack of "empathy", you're missing the opportunity to look at what is really happening with your son and how best to help him (and yourself!).

 

I hear your grief and frustration.  This is not an easy journey  - even with NT kids.  ...and it hurts to not be seen as a person with feelings that matter.  But little kids really cannot do that.  (Some teens struggle with it too!)  Part of this parenting gig is being the grown up and knowing that they aren't and *can't be* adults yet with adult-level skills and capacity.  ...but you do need a place where your feelings matter, where your frustration can be expressed, where you can be supported.  I don't know what that might be for you, but I encourage you to prioritize finding it. 

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Teething? He has all of his baby teeth. There are only two sets of molars, right?

 

So maybe it's growing pains. He's growing, isn't he? When you grow, your joints hurt. Most kids will cry about it at night, same as with teething, but for some it just registers as irritability.

 

He's also experiencing tremendous cognitive growth at this age. While I wouldn't say that it physically hurts, it does use up a lot of mental resources, leaving him with very little for things like "behaving" and "using your words, not your hands".

 

Three is a really, really tough year for most kids. It's tough for NT kids, and it's tougher for non-NT kids.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried using an ABC record?

 

For example my older boy when he was younger gets into meltdown mode within 5 to 10 mins of eating a small snack size packet of Doritos chips or Cheetos. Same goes for any food high in red dye. Food high in yellow dye and blue dye didn't have that bad an effect on him. So we watch out for red dye in food until he was around 8 and that amount of red dye wasn't a meltdown trigger anymore.

 

Same goes for sleep. My older doesn't need much sleep since he was newborn but he was a grouchy bear if he didn't get a good night sleep. Sending him back to bed even for a 30 mins nap works very well.

 

It wasn't obvious immediately but patterns emerged and it was a lot easier to identify triggers. Besides psychologist we saw wanted some examples during the initial parent interviews. It was useful to see intensities and frequencies because some behaviors by itself are typical 3 year old behavior but the intensity and/or frequency may be atypical.

 

"An ABC Record is a specialized type of anecdotal record, where the observer selects a targeted behaviour or situation, then records the Antecedents (what came before), the Behaviour, and the Consequences (what came after). Over time, the observer records a sampling of events when the targeted behavior occurred, using a specific format to organize the information (see below)."

http://toddlers.ccdmd.qc.ca/observing/abc_records

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Human children are programmed to survive. They are defenceless and need to be cared for. Some children feel secure that they will be noticed and looked after. Others have to check. 'Look, I'm dumping this juice. Oh good, she noticed. I'm not alone. I will survive.'

 

It's not about you.

Edited by Laura Corin
  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What you are talking about isn't empathy - it is theory of mind. In a neurotypical child that typical begins developing around 4-5. In spectrum kids it can be much, much later.  ...and the development is long and complex. I know adults with high empathy but low theory of mind skills. There's a big difference between not realizing someone is experiencing things differently than you are and realizing but not caring.

 

And this theory-of-mind dealio goes both ways.

 

I've read this anecdote, and I believe it to be true. A classroom with one diagnosed ASD student. The student had a "behavior" of putting his hands over his ears "randomly". So they did this whole study, only to find out that... he put his hands over his ears when the ambient noise got too loud. What a surprise. So who lacked theory of mind there?

 

It's a truism among adult autistics that NTs often have a lot of trouble understanding that people who aren't like them might have different perspectives and different thoughts, so they have trouble recognizing that something enjoyable to us (like spinning those mardi gras beads around) might not be "meaningless" just because they wouldn't enjoy it.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I wanted to discuss this as some of you have suggested, would it go on the Learning Challenges or the Special Needs board? I can't figure out the difference.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Learning Challenges, for now. :) 

 

I'm just seeing this, and have read through the thread up to this point, and just have to give you a hug.  :grouphug:

 

my youngest was a lot like you're describing. He's 12 now, and so pleasant, most of the time. We still don't have an official diagnosis of anything. But, some of the things he did as a 3-yr old: 

-spilled, on purpose, an entire shaker of salt, all over the living room floor

-dropped legos, repeatedly, off his 10th story balcony (daily)(multiple times a day)

-wrapped the sofa in a roll of scotch tape. a whole roll. All around the sofa.

-whacked the blooms off a potted lily that dh bought for me, then called me over, grinning, to see it

-hit. Everyone. All the time. *For six months, or more, this was The.Only.Thing. we disciplined for. Period.*

-every time we ate out, he would put bites of food into his drink. Never at home, where he had good table manners.

-colored the grout in the kitchen floor, in a rental apartment, with a sharpie marker

-ran into the street if we let go of his hand for a second

 

As a toddler, he could climb things before he could even walk. I use a bookshelf story to illustrate the differences in my 3 children. Oldest would, as a 1 yr old, pull a book off a shelf. Sit down. Look at every individual page, as if he were actually reading the book. Set it down beside him. Take down the next book, repeat. Middle son would take down a book, flip through it, grab the next one, repeat, until he had cleared the shelf, then go off and do something else. Youngest pulled each book, in turn, off a shelf w/o looking at a single one, then climbed onto the pile of books to do the same to the next shelf, and the next, until someone forcibly removed him. Same age for each of them, true stories for each of them. Just to give an idea what I dealt with, and why I say "boy, do I get it..."

 

So, things I did that actually helped. Number one: Love him. Not "he's my son, of course I love him..." but actively, on purpose, love him. In the moment. Instead of yelling, scoop him up, sit down next to him on the couch, and sing to him. Lullabies, or silly songs, or hymns, or whatever. If he would tolerate it, put my arm around him. If he'd tolerate it, hold him in my lap (this was after I weaned him). If not, sit across from him and hold his hands, or at least make eye contact and just sing. Quietly, similar to our bedtime routine, just songs of love. You are my Sunshine, over and over again. Even as he kicked, hit, yelled, screamed that he hated me, cried, scratched me, pinched me, bit me, etc. Over and over I would sing, hold him, rock him, no reply to his yelling, just sit and sing. 

 

It took me a very.long.time. to realize this was the most effective way (because during this time, I also would yell, or swat, or put him in time out where I'd literally have to forcibly hold him in one spot, or......any number of desperate measures that didn't work), but over the years (and there were years of this....I'm sorry, but there were....), this was the one thing that kept it from escalating further. 

 

It did not magically fix it or make him less "disobedient" but it *did* correct my attitude about things, and kept me from losing control, and kept individual incidents from becoming bigger and bigger each time. We might still have a repeat the next day, and the next, but when I dealt with each one this way, it kept a sense of calm about it. 

 

Number two: (and really, this should be number one), structure the day, activities, meals, etc. so that the melt-downs don't happen. Obviously, I do not mean "give in to his every whim" but do consider what's necessary, and what's not. I did, for better or worse, say yes as much as I could, and when I did say no to something, I had the conviction to stick it out no matter how bad it got. 

 

I used a lot of natural consequences with little emotion. He spilled the salt, he helped me sweep it up. No emotional reaction, just "oh, you spilled the salt, now we have to clean up" If he had resisted that, and I'm sure there were times he did, I would have walked him through the motions. When he colored the grout, I gave him a rag with soapy water (knowing full well I'd have to clean it later), and physically placed my hand on his and "together" we "cleaned" the grout. He protested, loudly, but we did it and that was that and then I cleaned up later. (obviously, at 3, he couldn't safely use the sorts of cleaners, nor scrub hard enough/long enough, to remove sharpie....). He wrapped the couch in tape, he unwrapped it and threw the tape away. He threw legos down, the doorman collected them and once a month or so would return us something he'd built from the pieces. Etc.

 

But like OhElizabeth said, we gave him as little "feral time" as possible; he had to be engaged. Always. He still, to this day, hates to be alone even though he'll play by himself....but someone always has to be in the room. He was that way from infancy (we literally had ECI tell us to get him a doll with a face so I could take bathroom breaks w/o him screaming; this was when he was still a babe-in-arms.) So, he had (still has) toys in every room. Maybe it's coloring stuff in the office/computer room, playdough in the kitchen, a rice table or bean table (or bin, bucket, etc.) in the kitchen, shaving cream in the empty bathtub (or washable finger paints), a bin of legos in the living room, puzzles, characters, cars, etc. Whatever it is, keep him with you and keep him occupied. 

 

If hunger and tiredness are triggers, then keep a tight feeding/snacking schedule. Interesting tidbit: I cannot, still at 12 yrs old, ask my son if he's hungry when he's gone too long without a snack or meal. He will say no. Or shout no. I cannot even say to him "you need to eat" because he will react in a defiant manner. What I can do, must do, have always done, is to bring a plate of snacks to all three kids and place it there. They will eat; he will eat. If I offer him a snack, he will refuse. If I place the snack there for all of them, he will eat without even realizing it. I offer things like apples & peanut butter; boiled eggs; meat, cheese & crackers; grapes & cheese cubes; granola bars; trail mix; etc. 

 

Same with going outside; I cannot say to him "do you want to play in the sandbox?" or "I think you should..." He won't. Definitely not at 3 when his immediate reaction was to never ever ever do what mom wanted, ever (I seriously suspected ODD back then, big time). But I could get his brothers dressed for the pool (or have them get dressed) and he would want to come too (obviously we wouldn't leave him home; the point being, lead by example, don't ask/tell). I could round everyone up for a bike ride, he would come. Even if 2 minutes prior I had asked him, "what if we go ride bikes" and he answered with a loud and definite NO. His need to be with us overrides even his need (back then) to defy me. 

 

Now....is that a fool-proof, fail-proof plan? No. Take, for ex, the halloween that dh and I dressed as zookeepers to match the giraffe costume he picked out.......and then refused to wear, fighting, kicking, screaming, thrashing, no way, no how was he putting that on (that was at 2.5 yrs). So....giraffeless zookeepers we were, explaining all night that no, I wasn't Lara Croft,......because sometimes the only way to win is to know when to quit trying. 

 

Routine. He has to have routine. He used to tell us he hadn't eaten lunch or dinner, because he hadn't had the meal before it. If, for ex, we did not say "this is lunch, we are eating lunch" even though we ate lunch-type food, at lunch-type time, then that night, he would say he could not eat dinner because he had not had lunch. And even if we then fed him and he ate, he would claim later that he never had dinner (because he never had lunch, so....). Or, he couldn't do y if he didn't do x first. This happens, then that, then the other thing. Period. In order. 

 

I am a very unstructured person (when I used to take homeschool style quizzes, I'd get "diagnosed" as an unschooler....). Very. BUT this child needs it. Needs it the way I need quiet, or the way others need air or food. Seriously. His brain functions better with order and routine. Period. And activity. 

 

if you can figure out what sensory things he likes/craves, use those. For mine, we have one of the rebounder trampolines, and he jumps. If he's angry, we send him to jump. He does it on his own most of the time. We also have swings outside, and what I loved but we don't have in this house is when we had a hammock. He hated being snuggled, but I would grab him, lay him on top of me in the hammock, all stretched out, wrap the hammock around us, and we would swing. Hard. When he was calm, I would get out and swing him higher and higher, all wrapped up in the hammock, until he was cheerful and laughing again and then calmed back down. Most sure-fire way to reset this kid. Find what that is for your son. When mine was a toddler, he use to fling himself upside down while in the maya wrap or being carried. So, when he was upset, I'd pick him up, he'd wrap his legs around me, I"d hold his hands and let him hang upside down from my waist. DH would pick him up by his ankles/legs. Sounds barbaric, but it worked. Find what thing works for your son. What kind of sensory stuff does he crave? Doing those things can be an excellent reset. 

 

Find a way to get time to yourself. Every single week, from the time mine was 2.5 to 4.5, I would walk to the farmer's market and the craft fair near our home. Alone. I would buy our produce for the week, deliver that home, then go wander the craft market. Two or more hours, alone, every single Saturday. I needed that, deeply. When we moved, I found something else. I would walk the dog, every day, by myself. Just something to have some time remembering that I am a person, not just his mom. That I have value, even if my preschooler hates me. That I am important, as more than just the buffer for his anger. Find something to be that time for you. 

 

Also, learn to look at things differently. My kiddo also didn't have empathy for a very long time. I remember, clearly, the very first time he was ever sorry, spontaneously, for doing something wrong/hurting someone. He was 6 or 7 years old, and it was the first time ever he had said "I'm sorry" without prompting. He had thrown a rock at his brother (on purpose) and hit him. Now, this will be eye-opening for you -- he said, and meant: "I did not mean to hurt him. I wanted to throw the rock, but he was supposed to dodge. I did not want to hurt him, I was trying to play a game, but he didn't dodge."  This was his logic, as a brilliant 6 or 7 yr old. This is the kind of thing people are meaning in this thread when they say your 3 yr old isn't doing things out of malice; he's not. This logic of my son's, he wasn't making excuses, he wasn't trying not to get in trouble...this was, remember, the first time ever he truly felt sorry for something. He was sincerely sorry his brother got hurt. He just didn't "get" (despite his above average intelligence) that his throwing the rock, *when his brother wasn't even looking the right direction*, would result in the rock hitting his brother....because in his head, his brother was supposed to know, and dodge, and not get hit. Now, is that the same as your son throwing your phone down? No, but just to show you that the intent and the action are often vastly different than what we, as adults, imagine. 

 

OH, but looking at things differently....my son has not, that I can remember, even with prompting, ever said "I love you" or "I love you too" when we've said it to him. AT all. Even now, at 12 yrs old. He says "I know" or "Okay" or "got it" but not "I love you too." I could focus on that, and cry myself to sleep every night (especially if i had kept record of all the times he said he hated me, said he wanted to hurt me, wanted to kill me, etc....). Or.....I can learn to see the ways he says it. When he says, gleefully, to DH "your hair is black!" and waits for dh to argue that it's brown. When he makes new lego tree ornaments every Christmas for me to hang on the tree. When he knows to pick out white chocolate for me on holidays, instead of regular chocolate. When he comes to tell me a joke, even though I was sitting 5 ft away while he told it to his brother. When he seeks me out to show me the photo on his ipod that he took of his cat (even though I was in the kitchen when he took it and saw her there for real). When he puts his elbows on the table and tells dh "my elbows are on the table" and dh pretends to get angry about it (because once, dh was actually trying to get him to keep his elbows off the table, but it devolved into a game). 

 

I don't know what your son does to show his love for you, but find it. It's there. I promise you it is. Find it, look for it, every single day. Every day think of one good thing about him from that day. Every.single.day. Even if the good thing is "he only hit me 3 times today and yesterday it was 5 times..." I am not kidding; do this. It will, with time and practice, get easier. It will.

 

I imagine I've said way too much at this point, but hopefully some of it has helped. You are in a hard place, I can't even imagine. My hard kid is my youngest, and my other boys are 7 & 4 yrs older than him, so it was easy to direct all my attention at the youngest when I needed to. I can't imagine if he were my oldest or 2nd oldest, and the 4 of them under 4 (isn't that what you said?) (or 3 under 4?). Just know it's not hopeless, even when it feels that way. It will get better.  :grouphug:

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not all the time. But often enough. If he's tired or bored or something doesn't go his way, he morphs into a bad place. He makes ugly faces. He talks in a different voice. He runs around looking for naughty things to do, quite literally. He tries to annoy me. He destroys things. He will not play with me or do anything productive that he usually enjoys. He hurts his little brother. He's just an all-around terror. He becomes very hardened so that nothing I do appears to affect him, positive or negative. He's been this way his whole life, my other two kids are totally sweet and nothing like this so it's not an age thing primarily.

 

Anyone have a kid like this? Any coping tips? I get so angry about his attitude that I yell and spank and say mean things. I can deal with naughty toddlers. I can't handle that he's naughty with malice!

Your title reads like "blue is blue" or "fast cars drive fast." LOL seriously...what 3 yr old is not a monster?

 

HOWEVER, on that note, my child who did not answer to normal parenting, or even adjusted, and would run around like that and people got hurt ended up having ASD. Maybe an eval is what needs to happen next?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your title reads like "blue is blue" or "fast cars drive fast." LOL seriously...what 3 yr old is not a monster?

 

*giggle*

 

Yes, my 11 year old read over my shoulder and said "He sounds like any other three year old!"

 

But it's easy for us to say that when we've never met the kid. It's just as likely that the OP is unintentionally downplaying this. I always say a full evaluation doesn't hurt. Best case scenario, the doctor thinks you're a hypochondriac!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe it would be good for you to hear what 3yos are capable of doing . . they can be very busy . . . .

actually - 2dd . . . started before she was 2.

 

Learning Challenges, for now. :)

 

I'm just seeing this, and have read through the thread up to this point, and just have to give you a hug.  :grouphug:

 

my youngest was a lot like you're describing. He's 12 now, and so pleasant, most of the time. We still don't have an official diagnosis of anything. But, some of the things he did as a 3-yr old: 

-spilled, on purpose, an entire shaker of salt, all over the living room floor

-dropped legos, repeatedly, off his 10th story balcony (daily)(multiple times a day)

-wrapped the sofa in a roll of scotch tape. a whole roll. All around the sofa.

-whacked the blooms off a potted lily that dh bought for me, then called me over, grinning, to see it

-hit. Everyone. All the time. *For six months, or more, this was The.Only.Thing. we disciplined for. Period.*

-every time we ate out, he would put bites of food into his drink. Never at home, where he had good table manners.

-colored the grout in the kitchen floor, in a rental apartment, with a sharpie marker

-ran into the street if we let go of his hand for a second

 

:smilielol5: oh- that brings back memories.  this is why cameras were invented - to take future blackmail photos.   ;)  1ds was 3, I had the audacity to think I could take a shower . . . he tried to paint his fingernails.  got the polish on my brand new dresser as well as my bedding . . . another time, he spilled my perfume (the real stuff) on the dresser - the finish took exception to that even more than the nail polish.

sil was babysitting him - and sat down. . . . mistake.  maybe he was hungry - when we came home, he had taken the mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, a pound of margarine, and tried to mix them on the kitchen floor.  and he topped it off with a one pound bag of yeast.  it was a different time he dumped out a bucket of sand on the carpet. . . . . (found remnants of it when we pulled up the carpet.)

 

I got so sick of them stealing my duct tape- I gave them their own rolls.  we got old computers for 1ds to play with . . . . that was only a mistake in the sense we needed someone who really knew what they were doing to stay ahead of him by the time he was 11.

 

it was 2dd I had to drill. into. her.  walking is a privileged NOT A RIGHT!  she hated the stroller.  (you can stay with me, or ride in the stroller . . . .  )

 

 

As a toddler, he could climb things before he could even walk. I use a bookshelf story to illustrate the differences in my 3 children. Oldest would, as a 1 yr old, pull a book off a shelf. Sit down. Look at every individual page, as if he were actually reading the book. Set it down beside him. Take down the next book, repeat. Middle son would take down a book, flip through it, grab the next one, repeat, until he had cleared the shelf, then go off and do something else. Youngest pulled each book, in turn, off a shelf w/o looking at a single one, then climbed onto the pile of books to do the same to the next shelf, and the next, until someone forcibly removed him. Same age for each of them, true stories for each of them. Just to give an idea what I dealt with, and why I say "boy, do I get it..."

 

 

2dd was my biggest climber at this age. . . . . I kept pushing her back in her crib when she'd try to climb out, so that added another month or so before she was climbing out.

she was also the one I found crying one day . . . she was on top of her chest of drawers - chest height on me.  the drawers were closed - so she scaled the lips. . . . she was crying because she still couldn't reach the baby wipes.

 

So, things I did that actually helped. Number one: Love him. Not "he's my son, of course I love him..." but actively, on purpose, love him. In the moment. Instead of yelling, scoop him up, sit down next to him on the couch, and sing to him. Lullabies, or silly songs, or hymns, or whatever. If he would tolerate it, put my arm around him. If he'd tolerate it, hold him in my lap (this was after I weaned him). If not, sit across from him and hold his hands, or at least make eye contact and just sing. Quietly, similar to our bedtime routine, just songs of love. You are my Sunshine, over and over again. Even as he kicked, hit, yelled, screamed that he hated me, cried, scratched me, pinched me, bit me, etc. Over and over I would sing, hold him, rock him, no reply to his yelling, just sit and sing. 

 

:iagree:  :iagree:  :iagree:   if we do nothing else, we need to love these little people to whom we've been entrusted.  enjoy them.  

 

 

 

Same with going outside; I cannot say to him "do you want to play in the sandbox?" or "I think you should..." He won't. Definitely not at 3 when his immediate reaction was to never ever ever do what mom wanted, ever (I seriously suspected ODD back then, big time). But I could get his brothers dressed for the pool (or have them get dressed) and he would want to come too (obviously we wouldn't leave him home; the point being, lead by example, don't ask/tell). I could round everyone up for a bike ride, he would come. Even if 2 minutes prior I had asked him, "what if we go ride bikes" and he answered with a loud and definite NO. His need to be with us overrides even his need (back then) to defy me. 

 

yes . . . instead of - it's time to go, where he'd yell and scream and run and hide, it was "i'll race you to the car, and I'm going to get there first."  he LOVED games.  we could get him to do almost anything if we turned it into a game.  just changing the way things were framed could mean  180 degree turn around in attitude.

 

 

 

 

 

Find a way to get time to yourself.

 

I've a friend who was struggling with depression and her counselor told her to get out of the house every week - without them.  

anyway - she had previously enjoyed doing pottery,  so she started back.  now, she also does some at home with her kids for their "art".

 

 

 

 

I have four adults and a tween - they are very different.  there have been easy times and hard times.  some really hard.

 

the one biggest piece of advice I give to new moms- is enjoy this little boy.  you've said he's brilliant.  help him develop his ability by making him feel special and safe - give him you attention, and reframe how you are looking at him.

when kids feel safe - they feel more free to reach out.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe it would be good for you to hear what 3yos are capable of doing . . they can be very busy . . . .

actually - 2dd . . . started before she was 2.

 

 

 

I have four adults and a tween - they are very different.  there have been easy times and hard times.  some really hard.

 

the one biggest piece of advice I give to new moms- is enjoy this little boy.  you've said he's brilliant.  help him develop his ability by making him feel special and safe - give him you attention, and reframe how you are looking at him.

when kids feel safe - they feel more free to reach out.

 

Gosh, yes. I could go on and on and on....my youngest was....something. He climbed before he could walk, and climbed *everything.* 

 

Ditto, to everything you said in blue when you quoted me. Absolutely. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-spilled, on purpose, an entire shaker of salt, all over the living room floor

-dropped legos, repeatedly, off his 10th story balcony (daily)(multiple times a day)

-wrapped the sofa in a roll of scotch tape. a whole roll. All around the sofa.

-whacked the blooms off a potted lily that dh bought for me, then called me over, grinning, to see it

-hit. Everyone. All the time. *For six months, or more, this was The.Only.Thing. we disciplined for. Period.*

-every time we ate out, he would put bites of food into his drink. Never at home, where he had good table manners.

-colored the grout in the kitchen floor, in a rental apartment, with a sharpie marker

-ran into the street if we let go of his hand for a second

 

 

When the younger girl was already nine, she opened up a can of anchovies and poured the oil out onto the porch roof. Why? "No reason!"

 

When they were three, they used to pour ketchup on plates and suck it up with straws, which, ew.

 

And let's not forget the fact that the older kiddo used to shove shoes down her baby sister's shirt when she was three. Why? I have no idea why, but after a month or so of this I got fed up, shoved a shoe down her shirt, and held her down for five minutes. Which worked, but to this day I'm sure there was a better way. (But at least it did work.)

 

Wow, this is taking me back. There was also the time the toddler poured castor oil all over the bathroom floor. Slippery AND sticky! (But it did wonders for her hair!)

 

And the time she peed in my shoe, after steadfastly swearing she didn't need to go potty, nope, not her.

 

And every time she was in trouble, or thought she might get in trouble - "I hate you! You're not my friend! I don't have to listen to you!" (Her sister, at the age of three, went the opposite route. "I love you! You're the best!" To be honest, I quite preferred the screaming to the hugging. Do you know how hard it is to give a time out to a child who is hugging you and kissing you? Whack your sister, hug the adults, geez. And if I did succeed in giving her a time out, her sister would sit with her and hug her and then throw me a death glare.)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh, yes. I could go on and on and on....my youngest was....something. He climbed before he could walk, and climbed *everything.* 

 

Ditto, to everything you said in blue when you quoted me. Absolutely. 

 

dh has a friend who says he only learned to walk because once he was on the table there was no where else to climb.

 

oh - the zinc oxide . . . . :eek: :eek: :eek:

dudeling . . . plastered almost the entire big can of the stuff all over himself..  did you know that not even dawn will thin it so it can be removed?  fortunately, 1dd arrived home from work and called upon her chemistry.  "oh, let's rub peanut butter all over him.  they'll bind, then it can be removed".  yeah - it worked.  (see this is why mother's need to take lots of chemistry!!!!)

 

2ds smothered himself in peanut butter.  I walked in the door to him crying and NO ONE checking to see what was wrong.  he was crying because he was slathered in peanut butter and afraid to touch anything.  he stopped as soon as he saw me because he knew mommy was going to rescue him. :tongue_smilie:

 

and christmas morning the year dudeling was two . . he disappeared . . . . he got a noah's ark (he was obsessed with ships that floated). . . he was running his own bath so he could play with it.

 

or the time I couldn't find  my purse. I had noticed dudeling down our private road earlier (very unusual for him) . . . he'd put it in the neighbor's garage. :toetap05:   that was only one reason we ended up with a double dead-bolt to keep this child opening the front door. something I had NEVER had an issue with my older kids.  the key was on one of those elastic things so it wouldn't get lost - with a hook above door height because he'd haul things over to try and reach it.

 

1ds was maybe seven when he tried to make chocolate chip cookies by himself. . . he put in a quarter CUP of salt instead of a 1/4 tsp.  he refused to admit it because he really wanted those cookies.  I threw it out - and we made some (correctly) after dinner.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2ds smothered himself in peanut butter.

 

So you slathered on the zinc oxide to get it off, am I reading this right?

 

1ds was maybe seven when he tried to make chocolate chip cookies by himself. . . he put in a quarter CUP of salt instead of a 1/4 tsp.  he refused to admit it because he really wanted those cookies.  I threw it out - and we made some (correctly) after dinner.

 

When my sister was six, she wanted to make lemon bars alone. She carefully locked my mother out of the kitchen. Then twenty minutes later she called my mother back. "Step one says to put in the sugar, but I already did that!"

 

Turns out she just tossed everything in a bowl as she read the ingredient list!

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

And every time she was in trouble, or thought she might get in trouble - "I hate you! You're not my friend! I don't have to listen to you!" (Her sister, at the age of three, went the opposite route. "I love you! You're the best!" To be honest, I quite preferred the screaming to the hugging. Do you know how hard it is to give a time out to a child who is hugging you and kissing you? Whack your sister, hug the adults, geez. And if I did succeed in giving her a time out, her sister would sit with her and hug her and then throw me a death glare.)

 

1ds . . . "you're not my mom" at the top of his lungs when he was mad at me. . . . fortunately - he didn't do it in a store.

I tried all the pc popppsych garbage.  I'm sorry you're angry, mommy loves you, etc. . . . .

finally one day . . . I was just too tired.  "fine.  i'm not your mom.  I don't have to read you stories, or cuddle you, or . . . . _____".  then went back to reading my cookbook.   he started at me for (it seemed) 30 minutes.  then calmly walked over and asked for a drink.  "nope, I'm not your mom.  I don't have to do anything for you, and i won't be until you apologize".   which he promptly did, I promptly got him a drink, and we had some cuddle.

 

he says he doesn't remember - but he laughs at my description.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote

2ds smothered himself in peanut butter.

 

 

So you slathered on the zinc oxide to get it off, am I reading this right?

 

 

two separate incidents.  (two different sons)

 

dudeling - slathered himself in zinc oxide.  we then covered it in peanut butter because they would bind and it made it much easier to remove the zinc oxide.

 

2ds covered himself in peanut butter - just peanut butter.  it was on his face and near his eyes.  I don't remember exactly what I did - but it was far far far easier to remove using fairly conventional methods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1ds . . . "you're not my mom" at the top of his lungs when he was mad at me. . . . fortunately - he didn't do it in a store.

 

When the eldest was three, one day she was really mad at me on the boat and throwing a tantrum. And I bent down to at least get her off the floor, so she screamed at the top of her lungs "DON'T HIT ME!!!!!" for all the world like I just made a habit of beating her up.

 

Never so much as wanted to hit her until that moment, but boy, did I want to hit her then. Luckily for both of us, I suppose, we were surrounded by other passengers, and I had enough presence of mind to realize that if I hit her, it'd look like I really did do that all the time.

 

Oh, gosh, and I'd forgotten! That same year, she ripped up a cookbook of mine and threw it blithely off the window. I have no idea why she did this.

 

And she broke my glasses that year, and cut up one of my sheets, and once pooped in a cup (!)... well, the list goes on. Three years old. Very frustrating age.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL, I knew they were separate incidents and sons, but I was joking. In humor-logic, it seems reasonable that if peanut butter removes zinc oxide, then you must therefore use the zinc oxide on the flipside!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh, gosh yes. My oldest, the only time he ever did anything "Naughty" he was 2 yrs old and I was working outside the home as a teacher at a private school. One Saturday, I was in charge of Saturday detention, which meant I had the key to the front door. You know, the big "do not make copies of this key ever" kind of key. Which, of course, I took home. And then could.not.find. For about two weeks. Until one day I followed him around and watched him go put a toy in a never-used cabinet in the kitchen. And there was the key. I was too relieved to be mad. 

 

Youngest though....gosh, he was a heart attack waiting to happen. He used to close the drains in the shower (we had an odd shower set up) and fill his little "tub" (giant round bowl thing) with water, and let the shower "fill" with water, so he could "swim." Why on earth we continued to let him bathe/play in the shower unsupervised is beyond me, but he did this at least three times, flooding the bathroom each time. (the bathroom itself had a drain in the floor, so clean up was actually easy, the cabinets were counter-levered to the wall, so they didn't get damaged, the doorway had a 2" lip between it and the carpeted outer room, so it didn't get damaged.....). 

 

Honestly, I still, to this day, look at DH like he's crazy when he says to me "don't you miss when they were little??"  NO, no I don't. Not if we count the youngest, I don't. I did not like him, at all, until he was.......I don't even know how old. It's horrible, but it's true. I loved him, I chose every day to be kind to him, but I truly had to choose. Every day. I nursed him until he was three because, and I said it then, it saved my relationship with him. Those sweet, snuggly moments were the absolute glue that kept me sane. Until he was 3, and I was touched out, and his nursing behavior changed, and then it was making me crazy, and that was the end of that. But then I had to find something else positive, some other way to get positive interaction with him. And that was hard.Oh my gosh, I loved him like crazy, even then, but like him.....that took effort. Which is something they never tell you about motherhood/parenthood, that loving your kid and liking your kid aren't the same thing, but that you have to do whatever it takes to make both happen. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a child with a history of behavioral problems (he's on the autism spectrum), and I relied heavily on respite care to get through his toddler years. He was in a special needs preschool, but even before that started, I would send him to a drop off program at the YMCA a few mornings per week. Sometimes I would stay in the facility and sit in the hot tub or the sauna and take a shower, just to try to relax a little bit while he was in someone else's care. I would typically take a break when my husband got home as well, and on really bad days I would take a bath at night to try to calm down a bit. It was NOT easy, and I don't think that anyone can really fathom what I went through unless they have actually experienced it themselves, day in and day out for years straight. I'm sure that people saw him throwing tantrums and thought in their minds that it was "typical toddler behavior" but they couldn't see that it just never stopped, and that we didn't get to experience those "moments that make it all worth it" in between behaviors, because the best it ever got was simply when he was able to be calm for long enough that we could all catch our breath before the next wave of stress began. 

 

My son will be 6 next month, and things have improved a great deal, but it hasn't happened over night. I only needed 3 hours of respite care per week this past year, and I'm not planning to have any next year, so we are in a much better place now (he is homeschooled and with me all the time.) So, my advice is, while you're trying to figure out and implement solutions, you need to find ways to reduce your own stress. For me, it was a matter of scheduling breaks from my son on a regular basis. It was necessary and I had to find ways to make it happen. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, my favorite story is when he was older....probably 5 or so. DH was on a business trip, we were living in Brazil, in a new house, so still only known as "the Americans", and it was probably 10:30 pm or later. I was trying, desperately, to get him to go to bed. We had the windows open, because no A/C and it was hot. And he wanted Coke to drink. At 10:30 pm. And so of course I said no. Hello, kid, it's bedtime....you are not having caffeine. 

 

And so he cried/screamed/had a meltdown over this. Which I was used to because, he's 5. We've been doing this a long number of years now, thanks. So I ignored him. For, apparently, a good 20 minutes or so. 

 

At which point, the intercom phone rang (neighborhood intercom type system, where the front gate could call each house). And I answered, in still shaky Portuguese, and listened as they asked about "the baby"(because he was teeny tiny, so at 5 looked about 2), and was everything okay. Because the neighbors had called, worried, because the baby had been crying. So then I had to explain that he was fine, just mad that I wouldn't give him Coke. 

 

But then, because this was Brazil, the gate guard offered me the soda they had, if that was all the problem was, because they assumed I must be out if I wasn't just giving him some, and so *then* I had to explain that I had soda, I just didn't want *him* to have soda.

 

At which point, when DH got home from his trip, I calmly but firmly informed him I would either A, not be opening windows ever again, or B, I would not be telling his son No ever again, his choice, but I was not under any circumstance ever again fielding another phone call like that one from the concerned neighbors.....

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, thanks for all the helpful advice and sympathy. My laptop isn't working but I'll try to address everything.

 

He absolutely gets cause and effect!!! "If you do that, I'll take the toy away" is fairly effective. I could give 100 examples but suffice it to say, his comprehension and problem solving skills are truly remarkable. We are continually shocked by what he can do and understand. I was tested for IQ at age 6 and was found over 99%. DH is a physicist PhD. This kid is really freaking smart, and he uses that in many situations. So at 9 months he had the comprehension of a 3yo in certain areas.

 

He talked late, like many gifted kids just waited for complete sentences so we tried EI. They suck in this area. At 3 it moves to the school system and that's a bad environment where he will not thrive.

 

I'm sorry many of you are offended by my descriptions. I've learned that I have to lay it out there as I'm secretly thinking to be challenged and corrected. If I didn't think I were part of the problem, I wouldn't be asking for advice.

 

Maybe malice is the wrong word because it's so charged. I'm trained in philosophy and take to mean "intent to cause harm." He will say, "I want to hurt you!" I get the difference between something being intentionally and unintentionally annoying. Signs of intentional misbehavior: He stares me in the eye, curls his lip in angry face and hurls my phone to the floor. He gets into the forbidden cabinet (locks are a joke) and makes a noise to make sure I'm watching. Etc. He's trying to get negative attention. He thinks it's funny when I lose it after the fiftieth offense of the afternoon. I only have so much patience.

 

He does go to preschool and is better those days. He needs a lot of stimulation.

 

I'd like to get a second opinion but I'm in a rural area and it will require travel, with 3 under 4.

My mom is here for the week while DH is gone, btw. :)

 

He hates cuddling. It makes him panic. He likes me to be across from him playing.

 

Any situation where he's asked to do anything that challenges him makes him anxious and he shuts down. Seriously, at 12 months we saw him practice motor skills in his room alone and he wouldn't do it for us until it was perfect. 12 months! He loves a challenge but only on his own terms. I wish we had a true Montessori preschool around.

 

My family has a ton of mental disorders including some known to be hereditary, so I'm expecting a difficult road with him. I very sincerely want to help him.

 

As far as spanking, if I say "I'll spank you if you do that," it's effective short-term. But yeah, thinking about it it may be cruel because of his touch anxiety.

 

Pulling all this down, because it was a lot. One, he sounds extremely bored. Preschool might not be cutting it. Like might be time for calculus or something, kwim? My ds doesn't have as high an IQ as yours, and I can tell you he was listening to college lectures (Teaching Company) in K5. Like you REALLY need to up the game here on what he's accessing and what his brain is pondering.

 

His brain is GOING to divert the energy SOMEWHERE. When he wasn't speaking, that energy was going into freakish perfectionism of his motor skills. Now it sounds like it's going other places. Personally, I think you might like to direct it into social thinking. It sounds like it's not right now. Like really start analyzing things and going ok what were they thinking, why did they do that, what might happen next, how do those other people feel about it... You've GOT to get his brain energy going somewhere good. You've got to redirect it.

 

With my ds, his apraxia (motor planning of speech issues) redirected his brain energy to fine motor. He was freakishly ahead, then when we began intense therapy it totally STOPPED. So I've lived that for years with him, watching things surge, things fall behind, and realizing it's where we're creating demand and brain energy draw. Right now my ds is asking hard for apps, and for me that's a sure sign that he needs something MORE. His IQ drives him to want that, but his disabilities mean he can't always express it or organize it. So it's kind of tricky to stay on the front end and go ok you might be interested in THIS and make it happen.

 

Does he have a laptop? Does he surf? I assume he reads. He strikes me as someone who could feed himself if given access.

 

Did you get connected with Hoagies Gifted? With those scores, you should. They have resources and could connect you with mentors. So then you'd have a mentor to connect with him on his level and get that brain energy flowing in a more productive way.

 

I would try to distract him into a better, more compelling way to use his brain. Does he ever go to work with his dad? I used to cut school and go to college classes with my mom. It's a good use of his time if his dad is engaged in anything interesting he could watch.

 

 

If he stares at me, scowls, and dumps juice on the floor or throws something or bites me, what motive is there besides making me angry? It's just fun to scowl and bite and throw?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

This is a bizarre statement. People bite for communication. They throw things for communication. The functions of behavior are: attention seeking, escape, self-reward/stimulating, and to gain access. What are Functional Assessments and the Four Main Functions of Behavior? - North Shore Pediatric Therapy

 

Typically when you behavior log, you're going to ABC (antecedent, behavior, consequence), and you'll try to assign a function, as in what you think the function of the behavior was. So then you start to see a flow (what was happening before, what he did, how you followed up). Then you can log his response to the consequence and the duration.

 

That's the kind of logging behaviorists might have you do. You could do it for a few days and see if you see patterns. You probably will, honestly. Right now you're telling us behaviors, but you don't have any context on what led up to it for it to be apparently what the function was of the behavior, why he did it. Most of the time it's going to go back to basics like this. It would be worth doing some logging to see what you see in the data.

 

He likes to see how I act when I'm mad. Maybe it makes him feel powerful? Maybe he's trying to find where I will set a limit? Maybe he feels insecure and needs to see that there are boundaries? I think maybe he just gets angry and lashes out, not knowing what else to do. He doesn't comprehend that I have an inner life like he does, or that being angry is unpleasant for me. He has no empathy. That's an observation, not a judgment. I don't know what the typical age range is for development of empathy.

 

NOW we're getting somewhere. You just said he has social thinking deficits. All the rest of the thread it was like no, no deficits, he knows what I'm thinking, he's manipulating me. But really, what you're saying might not be compatible. You can't manipulate when you can't take the perspective of someone else, think about what they'll think about it, and then act on that. 

 

It's not all/nothing on that, obviously. I linked you that social thinking profile page earlier so you could see the gradations. 

 

 

What is the difference between "push the big button" and "obey to disobey?" Obviously the baby wasn't trying to make me suffer, he was trying to disobey. I just consider "pushing the button for a reaction" disobedience for its own sake and don't see a difference. I don't think me 3yo is trying to make me suffer, he's trying to make me mad and doesn't really understand that I have feelings at all. Either his empathy is very low or he does a good job pretending that it is.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Again, you can't say he's trying to make you made and then say he can't take your perspective. He's using your responses to self-regulate. He's even possibly up-tempoing YOU so that YOU will then kick in YOUR calming strategies so that HE can regulate and use them. He's 2E, so that wouldn't be shocking.

 

Really, you're pretty rigid and stuck on your interpretation of things. You might find it helpful to do some reading on social thinking, etc., rather than hunkering down on your current conclusions. The other good way to get out of your current rut is to get a behaviorist, someone with significant experience in 2E (yes, they can be found, ours is one) who can work with him themselves and get to know him and give you new perspective. Right now you only have your own perspective, and you're not yet questioning whether it's accurate. Since you're not open to online arm-chair suggestions, maybe someone actually working with him would be more satisfactory for you. 

 

As far as the ASD thing, not to rattle you or anything, but you've said some subtle things that would be at least reason to keep it on the radar or look in that vein. One, you said his focus is UNUSUAL. My ds was like that, playing Star Trek Catan at age 5, and we're like, hello, WHY was that idiot psych saying this was ADHD-inattentive??? You've got the sensory, anxiety, eye contact, social thinking, and withdrawal pieces. You've got extreme behaviors, which frankly *are on* the GARS (one of the forms you fill out). I don't know if the GARS is normed to age 3, but those kind of behaviors are on there. 

 

There is the book Bright Not Broken and the idea that at a certain point it doesn't matter, that you deal with what you're seeing and stop freaking out over what to call it. But calling it things gets you access and funding, sigh. 

 

Given your limited eval options where you are, you would be well-advised to drive farther. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still walking down memory lane. There was this one time on the bus....

 

Oh, man. So we got on the bus, and instead of a regular bus we got on one that has pairs of seats by each window, all facing forward.

 

And we didn't get in the first set of seats, we got in the second one. As we're getting in, the older kiddo bumps the seat in front of her. Which could happen to anybody.

 

"Don't kick me!"

 

I roll my eyes, say a perfunctory "Kid, don't kick", and sit down.

 

So she sits by the window, and after a stop she turns to face the window. This bumps the seat slightly. "Don't kick me!" "Kid, don't kick."

 

After a few stops, she sits forward again. Now that she's facing forward, her knees don't bend and her feet have nowhere to go, so she bumps the seat in front of her. "Don't kick!" "Sigh. Kid, be careful, don't kick."

Turn around, kick, don't kick.

 

So the next time she sits to face forward and bumps the seat in front of her, I tell her to be still. Well, she doesn't like this, does she? Because it's six pm, and she's hungry, and she's tired, and she's three years old.

 

Eventually she ends up kicking the seat in front of her in earnest, the woman in front of us screeches "STOP KICKING ME!" to which I finally yell back "I'M DOING THE BEST I F**KING CAN!"

 

At this point, the woman in front leans forward to talk to the driver, and I don't know what he said, but she huffed back in her seat and shut up. We got off three stops later.

 

It is now over a decade since this happened, and I look back, and I think - I should've ignored that witch. My kid wasn't doing anything wrong until after she started making a stink. And what did she expect me to do? I couldn't enforce a time-out - we were already on the bus! I wasn't about to get off. Did she want me to beat my child? Heck, no. She could've moved seats. It wasn't that crowded.

 

But I bet she looks back and thinks my kid was a brat. Uh, no.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hugs to you, OP. I know this is a homeschooling board, but have you considered putting him in preschool? I have put all of mine in morning preschool a couple mornings a week and it helped (eta me deal with things).

Edited by MotherGoose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still walking down memory lane. There was this one time on the bus....

 

Oh, man. So we got on the bus, and instead of a regular bus we got on one that has pairs of seats by each window, all facing forward.

 

And we didn't get in the first set of seats, we got in the second one. As we're getting in, the older kiddo bumps the seat in front of her. Which could happen to anybody.

 

 

what's a regular bus if the seat's aren't in pairs facing forward?

 

and yeah - sometimes I wish other people would just shove off.  they can make things worse.

and I"m out of likes . . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking of some of their other wild stories. . . 1ds. . . was *never* lost.  *he* always knew where he was . . . . . and he could disappear like lightening.  we were on a canadian ferry - and he disappeared.  it was time to disembark - we had our car . . . and we couldn't find him.  all the ferry personnel were also looking - which meant they couldn't start to board anyone until he was found and we disembarked.

 

for swimming lessons .. he'd play on the bottom of the pool.  he'd come up for a breath of air every once in awhile - then go back down.

 

but they were way easier than dh . . . . . .  dh was four/ five . . . they left when he was six.  they'd play in the jungle.   really deep drainage ditches.  they'd tied strings to the bushes - so as the MP were walking patrol - they'd follow behind in the ditches and pull the strings.  the mps would always cross to the other side of the road.  they're lucky they weren't shot.   and dh's father's stories . . . . .

 

for some kids . . . yeah . . . find something for them to do  -or they will find something for them to do.

 

when dudeling was this age - he loved modern marvels. especially trains, boats,etc.   we also found youtube videos.  (miami-dade has a really cool fireboat video.)  japanese garbage trucks (they play music like an ice cream truck- and are in pretty colors)  and really really big trucks that are only every used in mines/etc.

the only modern marvels he really freaked out over was "inside your walls" . . . there were bugs.

someone had put him onto curious george - but I noticed his behavior became more extreme and it was banned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still walking down memory lane. 

 

I think that's why people are so engaged with this thread. We just have a lotta memories of btdt, whew!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm overwhelmed by the number of responses in just a few hours. I'll have to think about it and respond tomorrow.

 

We do have many positive interactions. I was focusing on the bad here. We play games almost daily. I read him stories. I tell him I love him and kiss him lots. He helps me with dinner. We go for family walks. The time from 12:30-1:30 is just for the two of us every day.

 

He goes to preschool. I think it's socially satisfying for him but intellectually underwhelming. I think someone misread that I've had him tested with a high IQ. My DH and I have high IQ's. He is clearly quite advanced in certain areas. The psych says that he's gifted, but doesn't like to do IQ testing at 3 years old.

 

No, he cannot read. I want to teach him but his performance anxiety makes it difficult. The primer approach is impossible because it's pressure. I'm expecting him to just bust out reading one day next year, because that's his style.

 

The psychologist told me today that the next step is to increase the amount of structure to his day, so I'll be working on that.

 

He directs his intellectual energy to building things. His duplos and Lincoln logs are no longer challenging, so I'm going to get tinker toys or knex next, and maybe a small lego kit with instructions. He also finds 50-piece puzzles too easy. It's hard to keep up with his progress, he masters everything as quickly as I buy it. I'm probably holding him back by not providing the right level of stimulation.

 

If anyone has ideas for teaching a kid who will not perform under pressure to read, I'm all ears. Like, some way he can practice in secret. That's what he likes.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We love SuperStructs, but I'm not sure amazon is selling them much anymore. At the time a few years ago, they were running awesome deals. We like K'nex too, but SuperStructs will probably come first developmentally.

 

How is the psych expecting you to up structure with 3 little kids???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...